Tag Archive for: Information Systems Internship

Raushan, Sydney Internship

Interned in Consulting and Information Systems at Happily Organised, Spring 2015RaushanatTheReef

Internship: I worked at a small firm called Happily Organised, which was founded and is still run by Laurel Grey, a BU alum! It’s a consulting firm that helps small business clients looking to develop an effective web presence, migrate their business to cloud systems, and market their products or services online. While I was there, my projects included developing websites for clients, providing support to existing clients, and managing the CRM system.

I Learned:

  1. Don’t be afraid to try something new. It can only make you more of a well-rounded and experienced individual.
  1. Traveling is one of the best mediums of education.

What Surprised Me: How much I loved Australia. Up until a few weeks before my application was due, I was sure I would be going to Europe for the “classic” European study abroad experience. For a few reasons, I ended up applying to Sydney and was never really sure how much I would like it. Now, I tell everyone that, out of the 13 countries I’ve visited, Australia is undoubtedly my favorite.

Hardest Part: The hardest part of my experience was adjusting to being in a completely new country where I had to form new relationships. I got into such a routine in Boston with my friends and my activities that when I went to Sydney it felt like I was starting college all over again. That, coupled with the fact that there was a 16-hour time difference separating me from my family, made it extremely hard for me to adjust and be happy during my first few weeks in Sydney.

Best Part: The best part of my experience was being able to be fully independent. Because of how far I was, I wasn’t able to call my parents with every little problem or question. I had to solve many things on my own and learn to provide for myself. It was sometimes scary, but looking back I can already see how it has helped me mature and learn to embrace unfamiliar situations.

My Tips:

  1. Your semester will fly by – get out of your dorm and make the best of it. Go to new places and meet new people.
  2. Travel as much as you can – you are in a part of the world many from home wish they could be in. Take advantage of it
  3. Immerse yourself in the culture – it can be easy to surround yourself with Americans and essentially be a tourist on an extended stay. Immerse yourself in the Australian culture and meet Australian people. It allows you to see the U.S. culture and customs through new eyes.

Hidden Gems:

The Skywalk at the Sydney Tower Eye – it’s affordable, and you will get unforgettable views of Sydney. Go early, and it will excite you for the semester that lies ahead.

Haymarket Hotel – one of the most relaxing atmospheres to go and chat with some friends for a while over cheap steaks and drinks

Casey Marshella, Padua

Casey Group DinnerInterned at Sit La Precisa.

I studied in Padua, Italy during the Spring of 2014. I interned at the headquarters of an Italian manufacturing company called Sit Group (or “Sit La Precisa”) that makes gas valves and related components.  At the start of my internship, the company had just acquired a new information system, SAP.  As a change management intern, I worked closely with the controlling and finance departments to help implement this system.  At the time, the headquarters was the only company within the group that had access to enter the master data into the system, such as supplier and vendor information and orders.  The other companies within the group would send their master data requests to the headquarters and we would input the data for them to keep the data entry consistent as we learned how to use the new system. I spent my time learning how to use SAP by inputting the master data that the controlling department gave to me.  Towards the end of my internship (when I was fairly comfortable with the system), I wrote the procedure for entering the master customer data for the other Sit companies to use.  Although for much of my internship we spoke Italian, the company had me write the procedure in English since I was the only native speaker presently at the company, which was pretty cool.

I learned: I learned a lot about international business, both from my internship experience and through my host family.  You can learn all about how business is different overseas, but experiencing it first hand through a full-immersion program teaches you things that being in a classroom or reading a textbook can’t.  In my international HR course, we learned about several business and cultural differences among countries, but everything made so much more sense each time I had an “a-ha!” moment once I was in the field.

On a sillier note, I was surprised how much I learned from the Italian friends that I made.  For example, I realized that everyone could tell that I was American before I even said anything.  When I asked my friends how people know, they told me to watch the people around me next time I was walking through town.  Soon enough, I figured it out: the shoes! Italians can tell if you’re American, German, French, etc. based off the shoes you’re wearing! At first I still didn’t really get how they did it, but after living there for 5 months, I found myself staring at people’s feet when walking in town.  It became a game among my friends and me, and I got pretty good at it!

I was surprised by: I went to Padua without knowing a word of Italian.  I’d spoken Spanish since I was 8 years old, but hadn’t even taken a Spanish class since high school.  But after living in Padua for 3 months, I became pretty good at the language!  I’d only taken an Italian language course for a couple of months, but among my host family, my friends, the BU Padua staff, and living in a non-touristy area of Italy, I was really pushed to learn and use Italian whenever I could.  The full-immersion program made the transition so much easier and faster than I anticipated!

The hardest part: The hardest part for me was adjusting to the Italian school system.  Coming from SMG, I’m very used to working on group projects, writing papers, and working with other students from across the globe.  After a couple of months, we learned that our Italian classmates weren’t used to this sort of classroom structure of working with others and writing papers, which posed a challenge to me when it came to our group projects.  The Italians were very focused on the exams, which were structured differently than the exams that I’m used to taking at BU.  However, we learned a lot from each other. The adjustment was just a challenge.

The best part: I can’t explain the difference that having a host family makes.  It’s like having your very own personal resources, tour guides, and a supportive family figure there with you while you’re away from home for 5 months.  I feel like I got so much more out of the program because of my host family, and I got a very good feel of what it’s like to live in Padua, or Italy in general.  I would come home from school and watch a word game on TV with my host mom (which helped improve my vocabulary) as she made dinner.  The last few weeks she was having me cook, instead, as she taught me how to make a few simple dishes.  I felt like a part of the family, and I could tell they were as excited to host me as I was to be there.

My tips: The school system at the university is much different from a typical American school system.  The other Italian students in your classes are your best resources.  They understand the grading system, how tests are normally structured, and the best ways to prepare for exams, which account for a fairly large chunk of your overall grades.  Get to know them, sit with them at class, practice your Italian speaking skills, let them help you improve, and most importantly, form study groups with them.  It will make exam periods much less stressful, not to mention they’re fun people to hang out with during down time or on weekends!

Many people who study abroad try to go to as many countries as they can in a short period of time, sometimes a country each weekend.  I stayed mostly in Italy, making only 2 international trips (London and Vienna), and I couldn’t be more content with my decision.  There is so much to see in Italy itself, from Juliet’s balcony in Verona to the beaches and old-fashioned fishing nets in Sottomarina.  Don’t forget where you are– find those “mom and pop,” off-the-map type places for lunch, take advantage of your host family and let them take you around to surrounding areas with friends, make friends with the other Italian students, and don’t forget to stay in Padua from time to time to do some exploring of your own. Get to know Italy really well.  Who knows if you’ll get to live in Italy again for five months under these circumstances?  Other destinations will always be there.

Blair Lineham–Auckland Management Internship Program

NZ North Island 1Interned in Market Research for SIMTICS, a medical e-Learning application for learning to perform surgeries and ultrasounds through simulation.

If you’re thinking of studying abroad, I cannot highly enough recommend doing so. My cousin graduated from BU 3 years ago and told me that his biggest regret in college was not studying abroad. I took the hint and headed to New Zealand for 6 months.

Internship: SIMTICS is a very small company and I worked virtually, but physically operated out of the BizDojo, which is a co-working space for entrepreneurs, designers, developers, videographers, and tons of other creatives. It was a really great environment for collaboration, as people would constantly ask each other for feedback on projects, and often times these conversations would turn into them working with each other on something. I met a lot of really interesting people working on cool projects.

For the internship, I did a lot of research on schools in the United States. New Zealand is a relatively small country, and the USA represents a huge market for companies producing virtual goods and services. I helped build out SIMTICS’ database of potential customers, but also got to give a lot of marketing feedback and advice for the company. I loved sitting in on monthly meetings (it was just the four of us), and getting to share my honest feedback and perspective on the company’s efforts. Experiencing decision-making and feedback in real time in an environment like that is something I really learned from. I’m really interested in entrepreneurship and it was great to gain the perspective of a start-up company on the rise.

Perspective: I met a lot of really down-to-earth classmates, as the Auckland Program had me studying at the University of Auckland. It was interesting to learn in a non-BU and non-American schooling environment. Being there for multiple months really allowed me to soak in the local culture. New Zealand is just a sliver of the world, but having met so many great people there really shows me there are amazing people all over the world. Going to another country allows you to connect with like-minded people that you had NO idea even existed.

Travel: This is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and we were fortunate to have so much free time to explore it. The highlight for me was a 10-day car tour through the South Island, where we slept in tents each night and hiked and explored in the day. The scenery was mind-blowing, and I got to know my fellow abroaders a lot better in such an environment. The climate change throughout different parts of the country is incredible in New Zealand. The last week in New Zealand, my family came to visit and we went skiing in perfect snow. Exploring both the North and South islands are essential.

I was really happy with my internship and continue to do work with the company. So incredibly satisfied with my Study Abroad experience, I can’t see why someone wouldn’t take the jump. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Sneha Marathe, Dublin Management Internship Program

Dun Laoghaire

Dun Laoghaire

This past semester I participated in the Dublin Management Internship study abroad program. I had the chance to spend five months studying at University College Dublin and interning at Esave Corporation. My experience taught me that there are many benefits and challenges that come from studying and working in a different country.

The benefits and advantages of studying abroad are far-reaching and extensive.

  • New culture: Experiencing and learning about a new culture is the most enriching aspect of your time in a different country. Before I began my semester, I thought the Irish led very Americanized lifestyles and were not too different from the English. I was very wrong. The Irish have a very unique culture that can includes, among other things, friendly people, beer, potatoes, and step dancing. This cultural experience was one of the best aspects of study abroad. Immersing myself in the Irish culture gave me a chance to experience something different and unique and allowed me to learn new things, explore, and get out of my comfort zone.
  • Classes: Taking business classes outside of SMG provides a new perspective on the education we receive at BU. In this study abroad program, I was able to take my concentration (Marketing and MIS) classes at UCD. Through attending these classes, I was able to learn different teaching styles and gain an understanding of the global nature of business. For example, no matter where you go in the world, you will always learn about the 4 P’s of Marketing. My classes at UCD were that much more interesting because I could see myself learning the same content in SMG. My business teams at UCD gave me a chance to work with Irish students on projects. Teamwork and collaboration is very different in Ireland than it is in America, which was an interesting aspect of business to understand.
  • Traveling: Having an entire semester to travel around Ireland and Europe is an opportunity that I won’t have again. Going abroad gives you the chance to explore without having to worry about time and other considerations you will have as an adult. On my weekends, I would travel throughout Europe in cities such as Paris, Barcelona, Zurich, London, and many more. Going on tours, eating new food, and sightseeing beautiful places are all experiences that are fun and worthwhile.
  • Learn more about yourself: As a study abroad student, I learned a lot about myself from the different challenges that I had to deal with. Whether it’s getting lost in a new city or doing everyday tasks, being in a different country gives you the chance to grow independently and to get out of your comfort zone. Plus, you will also gain an appreciation for things back home that you didn’t consider before.
  • Fun: The abroad experience is a fun time for students because you can meet new people and travel to different places. While classes and studying are important, it is fun to be learning in a different city.

I had a great time in Dublin and would recommend it to anyone that is considering going abroad. It’s an experience that you won’t regret.

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

Aishu Challa, Sydney Internship

Interned in clinical information systems at St. Vincent’s Hospital in the Department of Microbiology, Spring 2013

Internship: I worked at St. Vincent’s Hospital in the Department of Microbiology in Sydney, Australia. My internship was geared towards medical research and clinical information systems. I created a database for the doctors that allowed them to easily enter multiple patient admissions and drug level monitoring and other information. By creating a simple form format and directing buttons for various functions, I made the system easily usable for anyone within the hospital.

In addition, my second project involved using both Oracle and Excel (Pivot tables) to generate reports on the budgeting on patient laboratory tests over the past two financial periods. I presented the reports to the heads of the various departments as well as the manager of the Department of Microbiology.

My third project involved creating a presentation for the head of the department.  Since the microbiology research doctor provided guidance to physicians in various other departments about what antibiotics were effective in treating patients, I was asked to review patient data and records to assess what influence advice given by the microbiology research doctor had on the antibiotics and treatments  chosen. The data identified the progress of patient treatment within eight hours of the call of advice.

I Learned: One thing I learned from my experience is the ability to learn about a new organization and guidelines unique to the country. There are many regulations unique to hospitals in Australia that I was able to educate myself on and apply to my internship projects.

Another thing I learned from studying abroad was various perceptions of the world including the United States. It was fun being able to travel to different cities and meet people from the entire world and broaden my knowledge on global issues and even on my home country.

Comparing/Contrasting My Work Experiences: A few differences I noticed from the beginning to the end of my internship, in comparison to my previous workplaces included the internship focus, work environment, internship wrap up.

Day one of my internship, my supervisor/boss asked me what I would like to do rather than handing me random busy work. He asked me what I would want to do that would help me. I found this very influential and helpful.

Throughout my internship, my work environment was very casual and laid back. Most of my coworkers took two or three breaks during the day but never missed a deadline. They were very social and often encouraged me to take breaks in order to be more relaxed and high-spirited. Past internship experiences have been quite rigorous and stressful, which I often found intimidating and uncomfortable.

Lastly, during my internship wrap up, my boss and supervisor focused on accomplishments and my efforts, but not on my abilities but on how I helped the department’s success. They also spent a lot of time asking me for advice on how to improve the internship experience for following students which I thought was very impressive and interesting.

Hardest Part: The hardest part of my experience was making sure you balanced your school, work, and social life. Sometimes living with friends and discovering a new city can distract you from your main purpose of education and work. I wouldn’t say that balancing was a problem, but it was definitely a factor in your daily life. My biggest advice: stay on task and you can pretty much do anything and everything you want!

Best Part: The best part of my experience was meeting people of all ages and making long-term friendships. It was such an eye opening experience and learning from other’s viewpoints on numerous things is always entertaining and informational. Also, having great local connections helps with finding the best places to visit and receiving good recommendations. I still maintain contact with my Australian friends, coworkers and even the friends I made within the BU Sydney program, which is awesome!

Erin Lam, London Internship–Management Track

Interned in Information Systems and Marketing at Whizz-Kidz, Spring 2013

Internship: I interned at Whizz-Kidz, a non-profit organization that raises funds to provide mobility equipment for physically and/or mentally disabled children throughout the United Kingdom. My primary responsibilities involved the Children Services Department, where I collected and analyzed client information through a central database and then relayed the information to improve their overall business processes. In addition, I assisted in creating marketing strategies and preparing for the charity’s participation in the London Marathon.

I Learned: My internship experience gave me an intriguing insight into alternative health care policies. It is well known that there is a free health care system throughout Britain. Thus, in comparison the United States systems, this indicates very different responsibilities for health professionals, technology, insurance companies, and sponsors in Britain.

I also learned how cultural and/or overall environmental differences can impact businesses and the way in which managerial procedures are run. Amongst the scope of politics, technology, and other environmental factors, business managers must be cognizant of the discrepancies between domestic and foreign markets then adjust their strategies when managing operations elsewhere. I did not realize how important cultural understanding was until it affected me in my workplace.

Comparing/Contrasting My Work Experiences: A major similarity I noticed between my work experiences in the U.S. and the U.K. is the high degree of working in teams. Both experiences encouraged team work in completion of a project as well as introduced me to people with unique cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

An intriguing activity that I experienced in London was weekly “afternoon tea” where different departments would bring food, snacks, and tea to celebrate the end of each week. This enhances office cohesion and introduces people from different departments to each other who would not have met each otherwise. It was unlike anything I have ever experienced before in the work place.

Hardest Part: Working under culturally different ethics and adhering to them was a major challenge for me. I realized that the way in which problems were resolved was very different in my London internship than my previous work experiences in the U.S. I once worked at a technology consultant group in the U.S. where compromising with the client was the ideal approach to settling a dispute. Meanwhile, at my internship in London, most of their work practices seemed more focused on finding the most effective solution to a conflict. This was especially difficult when working in teams because I was often tempted to make a compromise while my teammates were more focused on figuring out which of the options was the “right solution.” Finding the balance between ‘compromising’ and ‘directly solving’ was incredibly satisfying and led to impressive results.

Best Part: Meeting and making British friends! It was strange to be considered as ‘the visitor from America,’ but they taught me so much about their culture and took me to places I would not have gone to otherwise.